Anyone can be a leader regardless of title: Here’s how you can become one

September 12, 2017

Professor Sue Ashford, in a Harvard Business Review podcast, explains why everyone can develop as a leader, and why companies benefit from shared leadership.

Who we consider leaders often gets wrapped up in titles and job descriptions, but the truth is anyone can learn to be a leader, says Michigan Ross Professor Sue Ashford.

People can step up and lead at various times and, in fact, teams where leadership roles ebb and flow among members perform better than teams with centralized, fixed leadership.

Ashford spoke with HBR IdeaCast about why fluid leadership is good for companies and what you can do to develop your leadership potential. Thinking about leadership as less of a fixed, static state makes sense in the modern world of work.

“We don’t have time to wait for everything to go up the chain of command, back down the chain of command,” Ashford tells host Sarah Green Carmichael. “We need people taking leader-like actions in more places so that they can react more quickly, react in a way that allows more voices to be heard, to handle some of that complexity and ambiguity.”

This article was originally published in Ross Thought in Action.